4. Church headquarters must be moved to Missouri.
“The place which is now called Independence is the center place; and a spot for the temple is lying westward” (D&C 57:3). Also, “Zion shall not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her children are scattered. . . . And, behold, there is none other place appointed than that which I have appointed” (D&C 101:17, 20). The Center Stake of the New Jerusalem, the headquarters of the Church, must be established in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri. One need only take a moment and reflect on the enormity of the task of relocating Church headquarters one day in the future to realize that nothing of the sort foretold by “the preparers” of today will come to pass any time soon.
5. The Savior needs to appear in His temple.
“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 3:1). This ancient prophecy, repeated in modern revelation (D&C 36:8; 42:36; 133:2), refers to one of the Savior’s preliminary appearances, a coming to his temple in Independence, Missouri, that takes place prior to His coming in glory. Elder Orson Pratt pointed out the Savior “will suddenly come to his Temple, and he will purify the sons of Moses and of Aaron, until they shall be prepared to offer in that Temple an offering that shall be acceptable in the sight of the Lord [see Malachi 3:3; D&C 13; 84:31]” (Journal of Discourses 15:365-66).
6. The great council/sacrament meeting at Adam-ondi-Ahman needs to take place.
“Spring Hill is named by the Lord Adam-ondi-Ahman, because, said he, it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the prophet” (D&C 116; see Daniel 7:9-14). This is another preliminary appearance of the Savior, a great priesthood council, the occasion for a large sacrament meeting, a time when the Son of Man will partake of the fruit of the vine once more with his earthly friends. And who will be in attendance? The revelations specify Moroni, Elias, John the Baptist, Elijah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Adam, Peter, James, John, “and also,” the Savior clarifies, “all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world” (D&C 27:5-14), multitudes of faithful Saints from the beginning of time to the end. It will be a leadership meeting, a time of accounting, an accounting for priesthood stewardships.
President Joseph Fielding Smith observed: “This . . . will be one of the greatest events this troubled earth has ever seen. At this conference, or council, all who have held keys of dispensations will render a report for their stewardship. . . . We do not know how long a time this gathering will be in session, or how many sessions will be held at this grand council. It is sufficient to know that it is a gathering of the Priesthood of God from the beginning of this earth down to the present, in which reports will be made and all who have been given dispensations (talents) will declare their keys and ministry and make report of their stewardship” (The Progress of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1964], 481-82; compare McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, 582-84).
7. The sun must be darkened, the moon turned to blood, and the stars fall from the sky.
“Before this great day shall come [before the Savior returns and the first resurrection resumes] the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall be turned into blood, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and there shall be greater signs in heaven above and in the earth beneath” (D&C 29:14; see also 34:9; 45:42). The astral phenomena so often spoken of in apocalyptic literature (in Ezekiel, Daniel, Matthew 24, and the book of Revelation) has not taken place, nor will it until it is time for the Bridegroom to return and take his Bride, the sanctified Church of Jesus Christ.
We could go on and on, enumerating signs of the times and prophetic events that have not as yet come to pass or been fulfilled. While we are certainly closer to the Second Coming than we were a year ago, and although many of the signs of the times have indeed been fulfilled, there is yet a great deal for the Lord to accomplish on this earth before Zion will be redeemed, the Saints have been sanctified, the work of the restored Church brought to fruition, and Zion communities established throughout every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.
To be sure, we have work to do to prepare ourselves for the end of the world, the destruction of the wicked at the time of the Lord’s Second Coming in glory (Joseph Smith-Matthew 1:4, 31). Part of that work of preparation, however, is not to either create or spread an emotional frenzy or to frighten the Saints. It is not to assume an authority or presume to hold a stewardship that is reserved for the apostles and prophets. Such tactics are foreign to the Master’s way of operating His kingdom and in this case properly readying His people for that which is to come. Our task is to live a sane and balanced life, to proceed on the gospel path in a dignified and determined manner, to be active and involved and always in the mainstream of the Church. Therein is our safety. If we do these things, we have no need whatsoever to be alarmed.
Robert L. Millet is Professor Emeritus of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University. In addition to Living in the Eleventh Hour, you might also enjoy reading his book Living in the Millennium. Now available at Deseret Book stores and deseretbook.com.
In Living in the Millennium, the companion volume to Living in the Eleventh Hour, author Robert L. Millet opens the doors wide to show us what life will be like during and after the Millennium. Relying on the words of ancient and modern prophets, he shares what has been revealed about Christ's preliminary appearances, His return in majesty and power, and His millennial reign—a thousand years of goodness and peace.
Filled with insights, this timely book helps us to understand more fully such eternal doctrines as the resurrection of the just and the unjust, the Judgment, and the many mansions of glory.